How To Unload a Dishwasher (With a Toddler in the House)

This may or may not have come from personal experience with my own almost-2-year-old.

Step 1: Tiptoe to kitchen.

Step 2: Open dishwasher as quietly as possible, so as not to alert the almost-two-year-old to your presence.

Step 3: Begin in earnest to unload dishwasher, starting with anything that can maim toddler.

Step 4: Four seconds later, force smile and greet toddler with “Hi (name)!  I’m glad you’re here!  You’re SUCH a good helper!”

Step 5: Momentarily enjoy the grin on toddler’s face because you know you just made him feel really important.

Step 6: Return to dishwasher, focusing first on silverware.  Cringe as toddler hands you silverware embossed with his sticky fingerprint.

Step 7: Move along to anything glass on the bottom rack of dishwasher, like plates and bowls.  Gather everything you can in one fell swoop.

Step 8: Bang leg hard into corner of dishwasher door while lunging for the one glass bowl you didn’t get in the first round, which your toddler is now holding out to you with one hand.

Step 9: Curse under your breath, cause, darn it, that really hurt, and it’s gonna leave a mark.

Step 10: Remove cups from dishwasher.

Step 11: Laugh at toddler who does a pretty good job of shaking the excess water off the cups, even if the floor is now wet enough that it might be a good idea to get out the mop.  Hey, two birds, one stone.

Step 12: When dishwasher is empty, allow toddler to close it.

Step 13: Thank toddler profusely for his help, and send him along to find his brothers to play.

Step 14: Open dishwasher as quietly as possible to reload with dirty dishes, praying that the toddler doesn’t return to unload things for you…

10 responses to “How To Unload a Dishwasher (With a Toddler in the House)

  1. The only consolation is that this phase doesn’t last long . . .

    This reminds me of when I used to SO-O-O quietly try to unwrap slices of cheese (like when making grilled cheese sandwiches or whatever) so Buster wouldn’t come running! Cheese was his absolute favorite treat; he would go into an absolute frenzy when he heard the paper opening or heard the word “cheese,” and I swear he could heard it 3 rooms away!

  2. Love it!!! Hilarious!!

  3. luckily my luke is happy w/ the closing the dishwasher door for now but i’m sure that won’t last.
    the funny thing is that in 10 yrs we’ll be telling them to empty it or they won’t get their allowance.

  4. Exactly!
    How I wish my kids would still come running when they hear the dishwasher open these days!!

    Leg hacks from the dishwasher door are THE WORST!

  5. Jill (thebaglady)

    I’ve SOO been there! I could sometimes trick the kids when the bottom rack was empty & the top rack was pushed in – they thought it was all empty. (Then the process would start over when I’d try to sneak it open again…)

  6. I feel like I missed a whole segment of my girls’ childhood years. Neither of them ever came running when I opened the dishwasher. Ever. 😐

    Now, though, I have a faithful 17 year old dishwasher-emptier so it’s all good. 😀

  7. I can’t tell you how many times this process takes place in our house with my 12 month old…..basically every time it opens.

    I also sometimes come running when I see her standing on the door trying to get cups out of the top rack 🙂

    I always try to tell myself that someday I will miss that!

  8. wow! this is every day in our house as well! what is it with the dishwasher…and especially the knives in the dishwasher?

  9. I don’t have this problem much, either – except for with dogs when the dishwasher is dirty and we’ve had something particularly saucy. 🙂 However, I will say I chuckled through the whole thing because I could picture it perfectly! I will also say that I tend to unload in the morning when the kids are seated eating breakfast. Key.

  10. This is sooo funny! I have a bruise on my leg because of my helpful 18 mo old who LOVES the dishwasher!

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